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I love to eat – especially while traveling. This was no exception while I was in Amsterdam. Food is one of the best ways to experience a culture, so I was so excited to try some traditional Dutch food!
My friends and I considered doing a food tour of Amsterdam, but all the ones we found were very expensive. So, we decided to just make our own! We made a list of all the things we wanted to try in the city, and then found great restaurants to visit on our own. We tried a mix of traditional Dutch offerings as well as some other foods. I don’t think we were ever disappointed in our choices – everything was so good!
Check out where we went on our very own food tour of Amsterdam!
If you want Dutch Pancakes…
The Netherlands are known for Dutch Pancakes, which are thin and crepe-like rather than fluffy. There are TONS of pancake restaurants throughout the city, but my favorite was definitely The Pancake Bakery. This delicious spot is just a short walk from the Anne Frank House and Dam Square. Everything was so good that we went four times, and we were only in Amsterdam for a week!
THE PANCAKE BAKERY // PRISENGRACHT 191, 1015 DS, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
They have a wide variety of pancakes on their menu, from savory to sweet. I much preferred the sweet ones, but my friends liked the savory ones more. My favorite? The pancake with chocolate sauce, ice cream, and whipped cream – it was SO GOOD!
Another thing on the must-try list is their delicious poffertjes. These are small, fluffy pancakes served with butter and powdered sugar. I think I liked these more than the pancakes!
If you want traditional Dutch food…
Before my visit to Amsterdam, the only traditional Dutch food I knew much about were the Dutch Pancakes and bitterballen. These are a type of deep-fried meatballs, usually made of beef or veal. They’re served with mustard – add a Heineken for the perfect pairing!
After some research, we decided to check out Kingfisher Café, located in the De Pijp neighborhood. I ordered the bitterballen and some fries, which made for a cheap and delicious dinner.
KINGFISHER CAFE // FERDINAND BOLSTRAAT 24, 1072 LK, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Another great option for a traditional Dutch meal is Tomaz (Begijnensteeg 6), a small café specializing in Dutch food and drinks. Their menu features Dutch specialities such as herring, ossenworst, and croquettes. I went with the veal croquettes, which were very similar to bitterballen. They were so good, and paired great with an Apple Bandit cider!
TOMAZ // BEGIJNENSTEEG 6, 1012 PN, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
If you want seafood…
I love seafood, so I knew I wanted to try some in Amsterdam. After some searching, we found what was supposed to be the best seafood restaurant in Amsterdam: The Seafood Bar.
There was a one to two hour wait when we arrived, however they had tables near the front where we could sit and order drinks. We began by ordering some of the best wine I have ever had – a Spanish white wine called Vinos Sanz Montesol. They also brought us a complimentary appetizer for our wait. I’m not sure what it was, but it was similar to a kind of bruschetta with salmon, and it was delicious! Also, because our wait was so long, they brought us another bottle of wine on the house. This was so kind of them, especially since we didn’t mind the wait.
The host seated us after about an hour and a half of waiting. Since we had browsed the menu during our wait, I already knew what I wanted: the fish and chips. Let me tell you – that was the BEST fish and chips I have ever had. The fish was fresh, full of flavor, and perfectly cooked. My friend got a mix of fried calamari, cod, shrimp, and salmon. It was all to die for, especially the calamari! We ended up going back for dinner again the next day!
The Seafood Bar has three locations around Amsterdam, which you can find on their website or on the map at the end of this post. I highly recommend the Spui location, as we visited the Ferdinand Bolstraat location on our second visit and didn’t have quite as good of an experience. Also, they take reservations if you don’t want to wait!
THE SEAFOOD BAR VAN BAERLESTRAAT // VAN BAERLESTRAAT 5, 1071 AL, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
THE SEAFOOD BAR SPUI // SPUI 15, 1012 WX, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
THE SEAFOOD BAR FERDINAND BOLSTRAAT // FERDINAND BOLSTRAAT 32, 1072 LK, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
If you want Dutch apple pie…
Did you know that the Netherlands is known for their apple pie? I sure didn’t, but when I found out I knew that I had to try it!
Thanks to a tip from a Scott’s Cheap Flights email, I found out that Winkel 43 was thought to have the best apple pie in the city. I’m not even a huge fan of apple pie, but this apple pie was different – it was one of the best desserts I have ever had. The pie was served warm, the apples were crisp and sweet, and the whipped cream on top was the perfect finishing touch.
WINKEL 43 // NOORDERMARKT 43, 1015 NA, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
If you want Mexican food…
Mexican food is hands-down my favorite. I love trying the local take on Mexican food everywhere I go, and Amsterdam was no different! We decided to try Los Feliz, a colorful spot located in the Albert Cuyp Market.
Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted and quickly seated by a friendly waiter. I ordered a chicken quesadilla with pico de gallo, charred corn salsa, and guacamole. This was perfect for me to get in my Mexican fix!
Los Feliz does not accept cash, however they do take all major credit cards. If you try a margarita, make sure to let me know how it was!
UPDATE 10/23/2018: It seems that Los Feliz has permanently closed.
If you want pasta…
Next to Mexican food, pasta is my second favorite. We ended up having pasta twice while in Amsterdam, and it was delicious both times!
First, we went to a restaurant called Pompa. It’s a short walk from the Van Gogh Museum and the other museums in Museumplein, so it’s the perfect lunch spot before your visit! Pompa specializes in Mediterranean food, and they have a huge pasta selection. I went with the Penne con Pollo, which was penne pasta with grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and a delicious cream sauce. Everything on the menu looked great, but the penne con pollo was some of the best pasta I’d ever had!
POMPA // WILLEMSPARKWEG 6, 1071 HD, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
When we started craving pasta again, we decided to try a traditional Italian restaurant called Ristorante Italia Oggi. Some reviewers said that this was the best Italian food in Amsterdam, and I would have to agree – it was amazing. I had lobster ravioli that was delicious and very affordable – only slightly more than what you would pay for pasta at Olive Garden.
Ristorante Italia Oggi is only open for dinner and reservations are recommended. We went shortly after they opened and had no wait, but apparently this is rare!
RISTORANTE ITALIA OGGI // BINNEN BANTAMMERSTRAAT 11, 1011 CH, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
If you want street food…
The Albert Cuyp Market is one of the city’s most famous markets for a good reason. If you want to try some of the local street food, this is the place to go! I really enjoyed having a homemade giant stroopwafel and a bratwurst. Other vendors had specialties like raw herring and fresh-made poffertjes, so there was something for everyone!
ALBERT CUYP MARKET // ALBERT CUYPSTRAAT, 1073 CC, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
As you can see, I ate a wide variety of delicious foods in Amsterdam. There is truly something for everyone, whether you’re an adventurous eater or you’re more on the picky side. I missed out on trying raw herring and Indonesian food this time, but that just means I have to come back!
Have you been to Amsterdam? What are your favorite places to eat in the city?
If you check out any of these places, make sure to comment and let me know!
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